Last Monday, Mama Leroy gave you a dynamite crash course on fashion, from the 1900′s to now. In hopes, us artists will become inspired to experiment with the art of their fashion.
As I sit on the infamously nude Wreck beach and write you this potential prose and have dreams of how maybe the old proud men here would mind being possibly be a little less proud, I decided to write to you about cover-up.
This Monday, in hopes to inspire my Vancouver nation once more, I want to teach you about the history of the creamy gunk you paste on your face. This is the history of make-up.
So, before; Victorian era. White people were even whiter.
Besides the white lead base powder they would ingulf their complections with; rouge-makeup was frowned upon. Women everywhere were widely encouraged to stay pale. So, woman fought back with a good weave. Since red was reserved for men, the usual femme would stack on these massive elaborate beehives which soon began to be a sign of wealth and status.
Years later, the 1930′s woman was starving for make-up. Women wanted glamour. Women wanted Hollywood. The only thing that would stop that from happening was more of the immenent World War.
Not that makeup was neccesarily rationed, but the raw materials were not available for make-up production. Popular brands at the time like Coty and Max Power were either busy manufacturing army foot powder, anti-gas ointments or camouflage makeup.
So, if one received makeup during this period, it would be very coveted. Besides it being in either emergency packaging and missing a puff or a brush, or in a novelty compact given to G.I’s as devices of wooing; the advertising for every beauty product on the shelves has never been more patriotic. Lipsticks and blushes were either dubbed something like a “Patriotic Red” and began to coincide with the selfish yet selfless lifestyle of being that ideal womyn for your man at war.
Interestingly enough, Adolf Hitler was famed to despise makeup. It was rumoured that women in his ladies circle were banned from wearing any sort of makeup.
The nifty 50′s came around, the men came back from the war and the women that used to work in the factories had to leave the workplace and go back to sexist role of the home and kitchen. But ladies wanted to be ladies again. So extreme, to the point where women began to pile back on that Edwardian amount of underwear and corsetry. The celebrities like Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, the models and advertisements were focused on a teeny waist, a big lip and a big bosom.
Women were very the focus of glamour. Strategically, because of so many casualties from the men overseas fighting in the war, women needed to make babies. The country was desperate for a baby boom.
The recipe for a 50′s seduction was very prescriptive. Blondes were told to wear blues on their lids while redheads wore green. Corals were very popular. Cream shadows were popularized during this time. The first wand mascara was invented in 1957 by a Helen Rubenstein, whom designed a metal comb for the lashes.
A rebellious era we call the 1960′s began. The bohemian baby boom grew up and this was the first time a teenager can walk into a job easily, and if they didn’t like it, could just as easily walk into another job. The youth had the power. Youth was the look. This was also the first time kids no longers wanted to look like their mothers, mothers wanted to look like their kids.
Twiggy was THE 60′s icon. False eyelashes were popularized, and colours of burnt fruit emerged for the first time.
This was also a type of sexual rebellion. David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” character and women wearing jeans were examples that special 60′s sex mojo.
So the next time you purposefully over-powder your face, ask yourself: “Do I want to look a Goth pale, or a Victorian-lead pale?” “Do I want to be a 50′s pin-up today or a 60′s Mod bohemian goddess?”
I have now armed you with the knowledge of the history of your lipsticks, the legends of how those colours came to be. Now go forth, my fashion fairies, play with your palates, create your statement.
Your face is a canvas.
With love and style, Leroy Wan